MANILA, Feb 19 (Mabuhay) — The administration of President Benigno Aquino III has been “generally good” in terms of growing the Philippine economy during the half term of his presidency, United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) Manila director Iain Mansfield said.
Mansfield said the economic program of the Aquino administration has been effective and it has been proven by double digit growth in trade, investments, and the more than 7-percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the past years.
”In general it has been good. (There’s an) increase in trade. We’ve seen double digit increases in trade over the last two years. We’ve seen increase in investment coming into the Philippines. We’ve seen growth around 7 percent, and those numbers speak for themselves,” he said.
External trade of the country in the first eleven months of 2013 reached US$ 105.8 billion from 2012’s US$ 104.9 billion.
Revenue from exported goods in 2013 alone grew to US$ 53.978 billion from 2012’s export receipt of US$ 52.1 billion.
Foreign investments approved by seven major investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in Q3 of 2013 also went up by 86.6 percent amounting to US$ 33.097 billion from US$ 17.734 billion in 2012.
Trade between Philippines and UK in 2012 reached £332 million which increased 17 percent from the previous year.
In 2013, UK has the highest investments in the Philippines among other European countries and fourth highest overall source of foreign direct investments, according to the British Embassy in Manila.
”That’s actually the last few years. Philippine government has been taking decisions in trade, and it did help the business environment,” said Mansfield.
”(But) this doesn’t mean its all done. There’s no more to do; definitely not. There’s always more and a lot to do. We’re just in half way to President Aquino’s term,” he noted.
The UKTI official mentioned that the current administration shall continue its effort in addressing corruption and controversial issues in the government.
He said this will attract more investors to come and venture in the Philippines.
However, Aquino’s challenge is to make the economic growth inclusive, Mansfield told.
”(The) challenge is inclusive growth. Growth is here but how you’ll make it more inclusive?” he stressed noting that for the last half term of Aquino, the government should focus on trickling down the effect of the booming economy. (MNS)